As people are confined within their homes during the lockdown a few of them shared their experiences of how they have adapted their daily lives to try to feel and be normal and productive at the same time.
While that seems to be the case for a handful of people we talked with others over the phone and online platforms and found out that there were also unusual patterns of things being done during the lockdown period.
People went online to talk about their new sleeping schedules and a lot of them confessed that their sleep timings have reversed or become abnormal from going to bed at 2 am or 3 am and waking up around mid-day or in the evening next day.
People also reported eating more than normal which is linked to spending all the time at home with nothing else to do and also all the hoarding up on junk and processed food.
Namgay at Hongtso said “I am feeling cooped up as I cannot meet up with friends or family which I had taken for granted previously. As for keeping my health in check I can still go outside to exercise as I live in quite an isolated location as compared to urban dwellers who do not have the privilege to do so”.
He said that he sometimes spots people going for mushroom collections or to fix water pipes in his neighborhood and those are the only few human contacts he has had from afar since the lockdown.
He said that other than few minor arguments being in close proximity with people together in a house he has not had much to worry about.
Psychiatrist Damber Nirola of JDWNRH said, “Lack of social activity plays a part during these situations as humans are gregarious animals and there is a need to get in touch with people, wanting to spend time with others conversing, and missing out on doing various group activities leads to boredom, frustration and is a mental drain.”
He said that people should try to keep themselves engaged as much as possible during this time, restating the Prime Minister’s suggestion for people that even if they had to walk up and down on stairs, they should do that to keep their bodily health in check.
He said that it would be advisable for people to use their lockdown time to keep themselves occupied with art or perhaps by catching up on movies that they had been sitting on for a later date among many other things that each individual would have at hand.
Thinlay Namdul Rangdol is a rapper and a game streamer and he says that the lockdown has been fun so far as he spent majority of his time streaming games while exercising on alternate days and keeping in touch with his friends through social platforms.
Sharing a message for people during lockdown, he said “now is a good time to love yourself”.
Yeshi, a resident of Paro said, “Since my work has been halted due to the lockdown, I have more time for myself and I spend my time chatting or doing some artwork and it satisfies my soul. But I think if I had to stay inside the house for about more than a month, I might get tired of repeating the same activities on a daily basis.”
She said that her sleeping patterns had changed as she does not have to wake up early to go to office, although she believes that hygiene is key even if the sleeping patterns have altered.
Doctor Nirola said that when people are stranded and are not doing much exercise, there are chances that one might develop high blood pressure or if one is already such a patient of high blood pressure or diabetes there are chances for the blood sugar to rise.
He said that boredom is a whole other thing than mental health problems and although they do not term it as a disease in medical profession, he said that it would play a huge part in leading people to feel anxiousness, frustration, and feeling suffocated.
Recently people expressed relief for alcohol and tobacco availability and although the move by the government was done with the intention of preventing smuggling and withdrawal cases doctor warns that people should not take these things irresponsibly sitting at one place, eating and drinking without any physical activities.
He added, “In the long run it could turn out to be really hazardous to them”.
Others the paper talked to also shared that they were trying to use the period to help their parents at home.
As for parents they said that a lot of bonding time has been helpful however some parents stated that with small children at home it was still some trouble.
For a few people living in small rented apartments in urban places of Phuentsholing and Thimphu they said that there has been fuss about sleeping, accommodation, food and some of overcrowding since their friends and families had come during the lockdown and were left stranded.
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